September 7, 2022 | By Gerardine Donough-Tan

With the F1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix (SGP) returning to the Marina Bay street circuit from September 30 to October 2, many business events are leveraging the buzz and excitement surrounding the night race.

The SGP acts as a strong focal point for global MICE events and business meetings says the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

“Marquee events like F1 benefit the MICE industry, attracting key business events and high-yield business travellers to Singapore,” said STB’s deputy chief executive Yap Chin Siang.

“The strong return of F1 and business events around it demonstrates Singapore’s continued appeal as a choice destination for business and leisure.

“MICE events coinciding with the F1 period this year involve a wide range of sectors, from thought leadership to F&B and applied health sciences.

“The common thread underpinning such events is the gathering of distinguished delegates, industry veterans and world-class speakers,” he said.

Leveraging Singapore GP performances and activations

Delegates can enjoy activities and performances organised by Singapore GP – main-stage entertainment acts include Westlife, the Black-Eyed Peas and Kid LAROI, and there’s the Grand Prix Season Singapore, the Great Singapore Sale, plus high-level business networking opportunities that go beyond the race.

As at the end of August, ticket sales for this year’s SGP were already stronger than in 2019 and organiser Singapore GP expects a sell-out event by race day. All hospitality packages at the site have been fully taken up. Strong interest has come from companies in the financial, automotive, IT, construction, MICE and oil and gas industries, said a spokesperson.

Events during GP week

STB has tallied about 25 MICE events in September, some during the SGP week. Headline corporate events include the 20th Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Millennia Singapore on September 26-27 and the 9th Milken Institute Asia Summit at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore from September 28 to 30.

“There’s no better example of Singapore’s resilience than the more than 1,200 people from the region and the world expected to join the Milken Institute Asia Summit in the lead-up to the Singapore Grand Prix,” said Curtis S. Chin, former U.S. ambassador and the Milken Institute’s inaugural Asia Fellow.

Association and industry conferences preceding the SGP weekend include the Asia Pacific MedTech Forum, All That Matters catering to the global music, sports, gaming, marketing and digital entertainment industries, Asia PE-VC Summit and the Asia Crypto Week cluster, including CryptoArt Week Asia, Global Digital Assets Investment Summit, TOKEN2049, and numerous networking events and after parties.

Not all events GP focussed

Jewellery & Gem WORLD (JGW), Asia’s biggest international B2B jewellery sourcing event, is temporarily moving from Hong Kong to Singapore this year. It will take place at Singapore EXPO from September 27-30 but wasn’t timed to coincide with the grand prix.

“The main considerations for choosing the dates are the buying cycle of trade buyers in the jewellery industry and venue availability. We’ll have about 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries and regions, and the majority of our trade visitors will be from around the world,” said an Informa Markets spokesperson.

Many corporate reward trips, brand reactivations and product launches are being built around the SGP. They include a wine company hosting regional clients and distributors for three events before and during F1, a major whisky brand releasing three new editions to regional high-end clients and a leading tech and computer manufacturer hosting 100 clients in a hotel suite directly overlooking the racetrack on all three race days.

Alexis Lhoyer, co-owner of Chab Events, said: “We have seen a big increase in activities in recent months. Brands and corporates are back very strongly to engage employees and clients alike with major product launches and incentive travel. Riding on F1 elevates the occasion.”